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County Primary School Church Road

Friday, July 4 1969

Opening Ceremony Of The Wootton County Primary School

By Mrs. M. L. Kellmer Pringle B.A., Ph. D., Dip.Ed.Psych.


The school in New Road was opened in 1873, the Trustees being the Minister and Churchwardens of Arreton. After the Education Act of 1902 the school passed to the control of the County Council, to whom the premises were leased in 1904. Under the Isle of Wight Review Order of 1933 the school passed to the control of the then Newport Borough Education Committee but returned to the County Council following the Education Act of 1944.

A link with the famous old mill is provided in the first Managing Body of whom two members are shown in the records as William Souter (Miller) and Leonard J. Souter (Miller): the other two Managers being Edward Chatfield-Clarke (Gentleman) and Cecil Manners Clarke (Gentleman) both of Wootton. At the time there were 176 boys and girls on roll between the ages of 5 and 14, made up of 111 in the main school, 37 infants in the north classroom and 28 infants in the south classroom. The Headmaster was a Mr. Brading, soon succeeded by Mr. Harry Sait whose appointment continued until 1919. Head teachers since that time have been Mr. Frank Stears, Mr. Sidney Leonard, Mr. Charles Read and Mr. Alan Blundell. Mr Blundell’s departure in 1953 coincided with the reorganisation of the schools in the Newport area under which Wootton became a junior and infants’ school with an age range of 5 to 11 years under Mrs. Megan Marler as Head teacher.

The rapidity of development in the area, which has made the old school inadequate for the numbers and modern needs, is shown by the increase in roll from 66 in 1958 to 142 in 1969. Now nearly 100 years after its first foundation the school passes another milestone in its history of service to the Wootton community.


The Chairman of the Education Committee Mrs. M. Christy. C.A. who will present the County Architect and introduce the Guest of Honour

Address: Mrs. M. L. Kellmer Pringle. B.A. Ph.D. Dip.Ed.Psych.

Miss. L. Wickenden-Smith, J.P. Chairman of the Managers of the School

Mrs. M. Marler Headmistress

Dedicatory Prayer

The Venerable Roland V. Scruby (Archdeacon of the Isle of Wight)

O God, who dost begin and end all good things, we thank Thee for this School, for those who have planned and for those who have builded. Let Thy blessing be upon it and upon all those who teach here and all who learn here. Give to them, O Lord, industry and perseverance, friendship and gladness, purpose of mind and body. Consecrate we beseech Thee both classroom and playing field to the high service of Thy Kingdom and grant that this School maybe so inspired by Thy heavenly grace that each generation may ever live to Thy glory through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Act Of Dedication

For the training of the young in wisdom; for the hallowing of our common life; for the teaching of sound knowledge; for abundant living in zeal and righteousness; for the love of all things that are of good report; for the truth, and honour, freedom and courtesy; in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, we dedicate this School to the glory of Almighty God, that unto Him may be glory and majesty, dominion and power for ever and ever. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer


Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation;
O my soul, praise him, for he is thy health and salvation;
Come, ye who hear,
Brothers and sisters draw near,
Praise him in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under his wings, yea, so gently sustaineth:
Hast thou not seen?
All that is needful hath been
Granted in what he ordaineth.

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely his goodness and mercy here daily attend thee;
Ponder anew
All the Almighty can do,
He who with love doth befriend thee.

Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in me adore him!
All that hath life and breath come now with praises before him;
Let the amen
Sound from his people again;
Gladly for ay we adore him!


The Blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, rest upon you and upon all that is done in His Name; May he give light to guide you, courage to support you and love to unite you, now and evermore. Amen.

National Anthem

Design And Construction Of The Buildings

The new school replaces the old Wootton School built in Red Road, Wootton, in the late 19th century. In 1963 a Government White Paper – “A National Building Agency” – drew attention to the enormous demands to be made during the next few years on the building industry, and the consequent need to increase output by at least 50 per cent, without any increase in labour resources.

Such an increase in productivity could only be achieved by more mechanisation, both on site an in the workshop, and by the adoption of a rationalised system of prefabrication, coupled with the full use of standard factory made components.

In an effort to meet this enormous challenge, many Local Authorities have banded together in “Consortia”: to pool their professional resources, undertake research in the design and construction of buildings, and to attempt to reduce prices by bulk purchase of the various components and fittings used.

The S.C.O.L.A group of Local Authorities (Second Consortium of Local Authorities) was formed in 1961, and the neighbouring counties of Hampshire, West Sussex and Dorset being among the founder members.

The structure of the new school incorporates the specialised techniques and modular form of construction of the S.C.O.L.A. system, and it is the second school of its type to be built in the Island.

A gas fired central heating boiler using fan and convector heaters throughout heats the buildings. The heart of the school is the Assembly Hall/Gymnasium, around which have been grouped five classroom units, that on the northwest corner being the Infants Reception Area. Each class area is a complex with associated cloakrooms, lavatories, activity bays and quite study areas.

The building incorporates interesting new features designed to meet the requirements of the changing pattern and organisation of Primary education. Two of the classrooms are arranged in “open plan”, sharing certain areas and joined by a library/study area. Circulation space has been used to create attractive working bays, which also serve to accommodate the children in family sized groups for the mid-day meal, thus relieving the hall from a meals commitment. Meals are served from a large modern kitchen.

The buildings were designed and the erection supervised by the County Architect and his staff, with Mr. K. B. Benstead in charge. Mr. A. R. Gawthorpe of the County Architect’s staff was responsible for the design of the Electrical and Mechanical services and the Bills of Quantities were prepared in the Quantity Surveying Section of the County Architect’s Department (Chief Quantity Surveyor, Mr. R. Craig, A.F.S. (Eng.) Quants.)

The Clerk of Works was Mr. S. W. Chandler, and the Contractors for the building were Messrs. H. & B. Ridett & Sons (Building Contractors) Ltd., of Shanklin, they’re foreman-in-charge being Mr. N. Morris.

Site procedure had to be planned to ensure that the building would be available for use at the beginning of the Summer term this year and the Contractors and their Sub-Contractors gave the fullest possible co-operation in achieving this target. An increase in school population has meant that already a further classroom has had to be erected and this has also been completed in record time.

The contract price was £52,746.

This page was last edited on: 26th January, 2022 17:50:24

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